3 ways to cope with poor exam results

I understand how upsetting it is to fail or barely pass, but it is not the end of the world. Hopefully you can re-sit the papers, but if not you will have to reassess your options. You CAN still do what you want to do, but with poor grades it might take a little longer than those with enviable grades and degrees. Remember, some businesspeople are in top work positions despite not being academic.

1. Release frustration sensibly
You are probably distraught right now, but take a few deep breaths and try to relax. Don’t turn to drugs, alcohol or other harmful ways to ease the disappointment. Try old-fashioned methods like crying, screaming into a pillow, ranting online or talking to loved ones. Unlike harmful methods, these ease your frustration straight away and don’t leave you feeling worse off the next day. You can do them as much you like until you feel better.

2. Learn from mistakes
It is NEVER too late to change, especially if you are not in your final year.
If you tried you very best and still got a low grade, skip this step. You did all that you could. However, the rest of you need to look back over the past couple of months and see where it all went wrong. Did you get enough sleep the night before the exam? Did you do enough further reading? Did you fully understand each topic? Were there too many distractions? Only you can determine what went wrong during exam season. Note down everything and keep it in mind when you re-sit exams.

3. Re-sits/remarks
Remember everything that went wrong with the first exam. Try old and new methods to revise, for example, if you only used revision cards last time, try revision websites as well this time around. Think of this as a completely fresh start. Don’t think of this as your second or last chance. Pretend this is the first time, but remember the lessons learned from your last attempt.

IMPORTANT: Consider remarks carefully! The grades can go up or DOWN, plus it’s not free to have papers marked again. Consider your finances and the chance of getting the grade you want. Could you afford for that C to drop to a D? If not, you need to accept the grade and move on. If your heart tells you that you deserve a better grade, and you are willing to risk getting a worse mark, good luck.

Remember, it’s not the end of the world. Many years ago I failed a paper, resat months later and passed with flying colours (A grade). Just learn from your past mistakes and do things differently for better results. You can do it!